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After a few months of preparation and three days of final execution the Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus has moved to a new delivery platform. It was a huge and nerve-wracking task, but we made it:
Visually, we tried to keep the theme as much as possible in alignment with Bhaktivedanta College’s main Web page. The theme is 100% responsive: It runs smoothly on any tablet or smartphone. (The content will be resized and rearranged to fit smaller screens and operating systems.)
The main improvements are with the modules and the features coming with the delivery platform. It will now be much easier than before to customize, or to implement and adjust, our online teaching needs. The students will benefit the most from this. Still, all the old functions we used to use are more or less the same as before, or improved.
I am sure that each of our numerous online students will need some time to adjust to the new system, but it will be worth it. Of course, it is possible to experience some hiccups, but we will sort them out.
With best wishes,
Dario Knez Dinadayal, MBA
Director for Online Learning
Petite Somme 10, 6940 Durbuy, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 86 32 32 77
Mob: +32 (4) 87 59 84 13
::: www.bhaktivedantacollege.com :::
Recently, Bhaktivedanta College came up with a video entitled “A Relevant Education in a Spiritual Environment” wherein students, teachers, friends, administrators and GBCs all say something about this wonderful educational project.
Inspiration for the video was drawn from the College’s six ideals: (1) Vision and Purpose: Inspiring long-term success through the ardent pursuit of truth, purpose, and self-discovery; (2) Student Well-being: Enhancing students’ prospects by laying solid foundations for their future career, economic stability, and spiritual fulfilment; (3) Spiritually Integrated Learning: Enriching students with positive spiritual experiences, curricula infused with Vaishnava theology, and a practical career-oriented qualification; (4) Academic and Professional Excellence: Promoting the highest standard of service and scholarship while preparing students as exemplary leaders in their respective fields; (5) Moral and Spiritual Maturity: Enabling students to develop virtue and insight, adopt ethical and fulfilling professions, and apply their wisdom to all aspects of private and public life; (6) Collaborative Partnership: Working cooperatively with local, national and global communities to establish an educational heritage of lasting social, cultural and spiritual benefit.
Music: Kevin Macleod, album Celtic & Folk: “Long road ahead” & The Succession Studios: “Happy Piano Music”
Editor and sound: Suravarya Dasa
Camera: Filip Cargonja
CEO: Dinadayal Dasa
Late in September, Gaura Karuna and Govardhana-lila Klein, fun-loving, inspired devotees and third-year students, said their marriage vows in French among friends and fellow students at the local government municipality. Tears were shed, kirtan was sung, and orange juice was drunk, followed by a photo shoot and the throwing of bouquets to the waiting female students.
After the legal wedding, a reception took place in the backyard of the college building. The rustic mix of orchids, green apples, floor-seating, and candlelight set the evening’s mood. Friends and mentors spoke about the couple, and cider was raised to a charming toast. Dinner was the highlight of the evening, kept hidden from view till the last minute: a buffet of Indian-Western fusion that wowed the guests. After a scrumptious
meal, everyone was ready to dance. Retro sounds were played by a college DJ, and the dancing was kicked-off by Govi and Gaura. They got sidelined by three unsuspecting toddler dance-machines, who had to be carried away from the party.
Congratulations and Best Wishes to Govi and Gaura! May their last year at the college be stress-free, with lots of time for their dissertations, and their marriage the same!
By Kumari Kunti Sherreitt (alumna)
On Monday, September 9th, Bhaktivedanta College began its twelfth academic year with a busy orientation week. The introductory ceremony was one highlight, with the students and staff getting to know one other through games, kirtan, and introspection activities. At the inauguration ceremony, Jayabhadra Dasi warmly presented the new college students to the Radhadesh community with complete introductions about them.
Yadunandana Swami shared his insights on learning and spirituality: “We should feel at home, but we are to be active at home, not lazy at home. We should aim to build a spiritual family — a family with responsibilities.”
He also emphasized the importance of combining spiritual engagement with professional training, noting that spiritual substance is the juice of life, like the juice accompanying a gulubjaman. The inauguration ceremony ended with pizzas and ice-cream. All students and staff hope to have a positive year, rich in academic and spiritual learning.
For two weeks in August, Radhadesh teemed with creativity. Nineteen students took Ram Das Abhiram and Dhrti’s Transcendental Art Seminar, and they painted in many places on the grounds, including the community hall, with its picturesque outlook perfect for an artist. From August 3rd to the 17th, Ram Das and Dhrti taught an intensive program of figure study, landscape composition, and the process for creating a painting. Under their careful instruction, each student returned home with an oil painting of a transcendental pastime.
Ram Das and Dhrti, based in California, are disciples of Srila Prabhupada who have been painting for the BBT for decades. Almost any canto of Srimad Bhagavatam contains a sample of their fine work. Their art is admired by devotees and the public alike. Bhaktivedanta College invited these artists to offer their seminar (previously hosted by the BBT several times in Vrindaban, India), and the teachers’ high level of expertise won over the students.
After the seminar, Ram Das and Dhtri visited ISKCON Amsterdam and then returned to California. They may visit Radhadesh again to inspire more creativity.
|Leelah, who came from Israel for the seminar, found it great for her artistic development. The course “brings out a lot of emotion, good and bad” she said. “It makes you feel like you need to appreciate yourself and your own work more and not compare yourself with others. Still, it is challenging to see other people’s work. It makes you want to do better.”|
|”The teachers were fantastic, the location beautiful, and the seminar was great,” said Sarasvati (from Los Angeles, USA).|
|Sylvie, a professional French artist, found the seminar invaluable: “The seminar is complete,” she said. “It is intense, and the ambience is nice because we paint in a happy spirit. We learn to draw and do composition. It is a good mediation on Krishna. Ram Das and Dhrti were good teachers and offered us nice association.”|
|Parth (Boise, USA) said, “Everything, including accommodations, food, hospitality, and transport occurred smoothly. I was never inconvenienced. Everyone at the art seminar and in the college was friendly and helpful. There is a big emphasis on individual work and drawing and painting from nature, as opposed to doing copy work. We had many patient models and access to good landscapes. This class was a wonderful experience, and I’m really happy I attended. Invaluable! I learned a great deal. The teachers were not only a great inspiration but kind people.”|
|Vrndavana, a new Bachelor of Education student from Dublin, Ireland, found the seminar “challenging and inspiring,” and was pleased that it made her “want to work harder.” For her the variety of classes was well chosen and necessary, interesting, challenging, tiring, and inspiring!|
|“You should try this! Impressive and intense,” said Gurupadma, an artist and disciple of Srila Prabhupada who lives in Maastricht, the Netherlands.|
|“All I can say,” said Krishen Kanadia (from London, UK), “is that the experience was very sacred, something to treasure. To meet the devotees who had preached to me through their artwork felt surreal, and they were supportive. A rich, fulfilling, inspiring experience. And a great way to meet other artists involved in Krishna consciousness. This is no exaggeration: these two weeks have been one of the biggest highlights of my spiritual life. The teachers showed us how to meditate on Krishna all the time in developing our paintings.”|
|Bergita (from Croatia) said, “A useful and interesting seminar by amazing teachers in an inspiring environment. This class has been helpful and amazing. We were inspired not only about painting and art but about life and the Hare Krishna culture.”|
|Anandini (from the Netherlands) said, “The facilitators were friendly, supportive and Krishna conscious. We learned profound painting techniques in only two weeks. The paintings by the students were amazing.”|
|“The teachers were excellent and very helpful. They really went out of their way to assist us all, according to our needs and artistic levels,” Anasuya (from Melbourne, Australia) said. “It was especially wonderful when Ram Das and Dhrti spent an afternoon telling us how to communicate Krishna consciousness thru art.”|
|“An intense, exciting course, wherein one can find the theory of drawing and painting along with ways to practice it,” said Svetlana (from Russia).|
|“I really appreciated the teachers’ methods of teaching. They were patient and kind. It was important what they taught, because it’s what Srila Prabhupada wanted from artists,” said Amritavani (from Radhadesh, Belgium).|
Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh has successfully completed its first year of training students to take up devotionally and financially stable careers as teachers and administrators in the many Krishna conscious schools already open or that will open worldwide in the next ten years, such as the Krishna Avanti Schools in the UK. The College’s Board of Trustees is seeking a dynamic Administrative Director to facilitate the necessary growth within the College to meet the large demand for teachers and administrators to staff these schools. If you are interested in playing a key role in this global expansion of Vaisnava education, please read the service description for the Administrative Director and submit your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I live in Latvia, in a town named Lielvarde. I am a student, studying translation. I am now working on my Bachelor’s paper. The topic is the translation of Manu Samhita. I have chosen to connect my interest, the Vedas, with education. I was introduced to the Krishna consciousness movement about four years ago and was captivated by its goals, philosophy, personalities, and the fact that I could find all the answers I wanted.
I heard about Bhakti Shastri as a great possibility to study Srila Prabhupada’s main books, about two years before enrolling in BCO. The Bhakti Shastri course in Russian was offered at our local temple, but I did not know Russian well enough to understand it deeply. Therefore I tried to find other means. Luckily, through the Internet, I found BCO, which is exactly what I needed.
If we learn from experts, all kinds of jewel-like wisdom can be found in a few clicks. One can communicate with and learn from people one could never even imagine reaching otherwise. One can learn how to make the most of Internet technology and receive desired knowledge, just by sitting in front of a pc, managing one’s time, and developing oneself.
Vedic knowledge is an amazing manual for living life. It has many practical uses. Vedic wisdom has helped me a lot. For example, I do my duty as well as I can, and I leave the result in the hands of Krishna. So, as wise people say, I am doing my best, but Krishna does the rest.
Actually, I was quickly convinced, and I enrolled in five Bhakti Shastri modules, though it was my first experience with online studies. I do not regret my choice. My main questions were already answered in the FAQ section. The unclear points were answered by the BCO’s representatives.
The soul consists of knowledge, bliss and eternity. But our natural qualities are covered by illusion, and therefore we suffer. Srila Prabhupada gave us both the medicine and the instruction how to regain our spiritual nature. His instruction is given in his books. If we systematically study them, guided by representatives of Srila Prabhupada, we will obtain all the information we need to be cured ourselves and to cure others. This is what Bhakti Shastri offers.
We communicated by sharing our opinions and our experiences regarding particular topics through online facilities. We had various opportunities to interact via e-mail, Skype, wiziq (when weekly seminars take place), and on the online home page. This is enough to develop a certain level of cooperative friendship. Our further relationships can be developed in the future.
If Krishna is willing, I would like to become skillful enough to translate and edit books and newspapers about Krishna consciousness in my native language. Hopefully I could even provide Vedic courses for Latvian universities, since there are none. So I need to grow and take the examples of expert devotees like the teachers at BCO, then practice and get more experience. BCO has given me a good basis already.
I studied Bhakti Shastri while studying in a university. The online course was my driving force, the energy boost that gave me the strength to meditate on the teachings, to recharge and to connect my daily activities with Krishna consciousness. This allowing me to see life through the eyes of the Vedic scriptures. I found the means to apply what I heard in different challenging situations, and thus I gained more experience and the strength to overcome obstacles. Therefore I believe that the power of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, obtained through BCO, is truly remarkable.
We stand at a unique juncture in ISKCON’s development. Through a global, cooperative effort, many Vaishnavas are founding new Krishna conscious schools, helping to galvanize, enrich and sustain our communities. Undoubtedly, these exciting initiatives will stimulate their students both spiritually and academically, as well as provide many enlivening career options.
The main challenge facing these initiatives, however, is meeting the demand for effective and professionally trained Krishna conscious teachers and leaders.
The Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium, offers opportunities that will help meet these challenges by training a variety of educators through two UK-accredited Bachelor degrees in:
The College works closely with each student to ensure he or she enters a stable and fulfilling educational and/or devotional career, often within a Krishna conscious institution (such as one of the Krishna Avanti Schools).
You – or someone close to you – could one day be helping to establish an educational heritage of lasting social, cultural and spiritual benefit within local, national and global communities. Please join the mission to provide a Krishna conscious, professional and practically useful education to countless children and young people worldwide.
One of the most attractive features of attending the Bhaktivedanta College is a spiritually-uplifting environment. The College equips students to fulfil their academic, vocational and spiritual potentials, empowering them to practice Krsna consciousness while living responsibly in the world. The association of mature devotees and excellent teachers also profoundly benefits and enlivens our students.
There are just a few places left for 2013-14 Courses and enrolment for 2014-15 begins this September (though you may immediately add your name to a waiting list). To candidates who are qualified but face financial challenges, the Bhaktivedanta College can now help arrange interest-free student loans; however, opportunities are limited, so please apply soon!
We look forward to your continuing interest and involvement in the Bhaktivedanta College.
Yadunandana Swami, Principal, Bhaktivedanta College
The day finally came when we closed our books, turned our backs on the college library, and packed our bags. The adventure begins on a cool Monday morning with missing car keys. The gray construction van emerges from between the trees and offers us a lift. Its doors are not reassuring, but we are late for the train, so we get going. With spinach pies in our hands we settled into our seats and watch the trees go by.
UK, here we come! The education students on tour.
It’s Tuesday, and it’s Ekadasi, but you can’t tell from looking at the breakfast: it’s a feast at Bhaktivedanta Manor. Today we visit London. Arriving at Euston Station, we make our way to the British Museum. At Tavistock Square Gardens we pose for a picture with Gandhi’s statue, then stop to pay respects to good old No. 7 Bury Place, the first ISKCON temple in London, which is now is a dental practitioner’s office (it used to be transcenDENTAL). From Oxford Street, we turn left at Soho Street. The sidewalk sign ahead reads “Govinda’s,” next to the Radha-Krishna Temple. We go upstairs and enter a small, beautiful, crowded temple room. The restaurant downstairs is also buzzing, but it’s worth the wait, because the prasada is out of this world. Later, on our way to see Big Ben, we admire Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, and Parliament Square. We cross Westminster Bridge, then sit down for ice cream and watch the London Eye as the sun set.
On Wednesday we hop into the Manor bus and make our way to the Avanti Court Primary School. James Biddulph, the headteacher, and three school ambassadors greet and escort us to the dining area for breakfast. After getting our visitor tags we begin a tour. Avanti Court is a new primary school in Redbridge, distinct for its “value-based approach to humanities.” The school also offers studies in ethics, philosophy, Sanskrit, leadership training, meditation, and yoga. The rest of our tour consisted of working with students. We made a list of breads and wrote similes on what they taste like. We made it back to the Manor before lunch. In Srila Prabhupada’s room, ISKCON Educational Services is hosting a large group of secondary school children. Indriyesh has the students act out a story. After that excitement we took darsana together, had kirtan, and ate lunch. The Bhaktivedanta Manor also has a primary school, and we had the opportunity to tour it and watch the students organize their Ratha-yatra. The Manor grounds, gardens, and farm provide a perfect learning environment for the children. The small class sizes make for a strong academic foundation. Then our day changed, from being with young people to being with older people at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a “masterpiece of exquisite Indian design and workmanship”. We could only marvel at its intricate marble and wood carvings.
Perhaps the most anticipated day of the trip finally arrived: Oxford! We all were looking our best. It was a long drive. The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on Magdalen Street, is an independent institute for the study of Hindu cultures, societies, philosophies, religions, and languages, recognized by Oxford University. We spent time in the Centre, with its wonderful staff, before heading out into the Oxford buzz. Oxford is a beautiful city, with stunning architecture, an interesting history, and an academic culture. It includes ancient and modern colleges, fascinating museums and galleries, and lots of parks, gardens, and green spaces. In the garden at St John’s, the richest college in Oxford, we had a scrumptious lunch with the OCHS staff.
Friday was our last official day in the UK, and we passed it at the Krishna Avanti Primary School in Harrow. The state-of-the-art building has facilities that encourage both learning and playing. After touring the premises and appreciating the Deities, we were treated to a delicious lunch of pizza and cake. Our official journey had finally come to an end. Some headed home, but some of us stayed behind to enjoy the London Ratha-yatha. The ETR students are grateful to Rasamandala and Abala for making their trip a success.
Written by: Phelelani Mdabe
Bhaktivedanta College in Radhadesh, Belgium is looking for an all-around assistant to the college administration.
-Driving visiting teachers, senior devotees, students and guests
-Assisting visiting teachers and senior devotees during their stays
-Preparing guest rooms and maintaining general cleanliness of the facilities
-Overseeing maintenance of the building (may include basic repairs)
-Organizing and supervising the students’ community services
-Taking responsibility in the ashram
-Maintaining the car
-Assisting in day-to-day administrative tasks and emergencies as needed
-In possession of driving license B
-Skilled in basic maintenance work and repairs (for facilities and car)
-Flexible and available
-Able to work independently and in a team
-Ability to easily interact with different persons
-Steady, reliable, responsible, proactive
-Understanding of Vaishnava etiquette and ISKCON management structure
-Should maintain good sadhana and be able to follow the community rules
-Preferably from Europe but other qualified applicants may be considered
-Knowledge of French
-Experience as ashram leader
- minimum commitment for one academic year (September 2013 to June 2014) after initial trial period of three months. Long-term engagement possible.
- a spiritually conducive atmosphere at the Radhadesh community, a motivating team, and enlivening association with visiting teachers, senior devotees, students, staff members and local devotees.
- Ashram accommodation, prasadam and pocket-money.
- Possibility to audit selected courses.
Please send a motivation letter with short CV and a reference letter from your local ISKCON authority to email@example.com